Thule Stir 20L
Thule Stir 20L Pack
Why I like it:
Thule has been known for years for their world class car rack systems. Last year they dipped their toes into the backpacking world with their first technical bags. This year they are making a splash with their expanded line of packs. From the moment I purchased my Thule Stir 20L it has been my go-to bag for hikes around Connecticut. One of the most noticeable difference between the Stir and other bags it’s size is there are no zippers on the outside. The main compartment is very easy to access with a storm flap to cover the top. Inside the main compartment is a small mesh zippered pocket great for items such as your ID, chapstick, and a knife. The main compartment also has a dedicated sleeve for a hydration bladder and an opening at the top that can allow you to have your bladder’s hose go over either shoulder. On the outside is full length shove-it pocket where I have been putting my headlamp, train map, and compass. Two stretchy side pockets can be used for snacks, a water bottle, or your sunglasses case.
Now for my favorite features! The Thule Stir bags have super breathable shoulder straps and back panels. The left side strap also has a super stretchy pocket that I have been able to fit my Samsung S4 Mini phone (in it’s Otter Box). If my next phone doesn’t fit in there I know for sure that will become my snack pouch. As with all Thule bags, the women’s specific models have narrower, women’s specific shoulder straps. With this narrow profile the Stir has been great for taking pictures on hikes without worrying about my bag getting in the way. Being more streamlined is also a plus for bike commuters. The Stir 20L has a small hip belt (that can be tucked away) and sternum strap (that can be removed) that allow the bag to be cinched on to you for no movement as you cycling along. Reflective elements help you been seen better by passing cars and there is a loop attachment under the reflective strip to put on a small light for added safety. Once you are off your bike the loop attachments going up the bag are great for clipping your helmet to your bag and letting your gloves dry out.
Bottom line, the Thule Stir 20L is lightweight, rich with useful features, and great for day hikes and bike commutes. Happy Trails!